Seattle King County Department of Public Health is investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills associated with WildFin American Grill in Renton.
We have not yet identified how norovirus was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks, because the virus can spread through multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.
Since August 2, 2021, 10 people from three meal parties reported becoming ill after consuming food from WildFin American Grill on July 29, 2021.
We have identified one ill employee so far who experienced symptoms consistent with norovirus dating back to August 4, 2021, but who did not work while contagious. Further investigation is ongoing.
Public Health actions
Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on August 5, 2021. We observed improper food handling practices that could contribute to the spread of norovirus, including insufficient temperatures for the dishwashing machine, improper handwashing, inadequate use of barriers to prevent bare hand contact with ready to eat foods, and risk of cross contamination.
The restaurant closed on August 5, 2021, to complete a thorough cleaning and disinfection. All ready-to-eat foods processed before the restaurant was disinfected were discarded.
Environmental Health investigators revisited the restaurant and confirmed proper cleaning and disinfection was completed and that the above observed improper food handling practices were corrected. The restaurant was reopened on August 6, 2021.
Investigators reviewed with restaurant management the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours and provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and preventing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
We do not have laboratory testing for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done because people tend to get better within a day or two. Symptoms among those who got sick are suggestive of norovirus.
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